Canada won't be getting the Winter X Games in 2020 after funding pulled
The 2020 Winter X Games won't be coming to Canada, at least not in Calgary, after the provincial government cancelled funding for the international extreme sports event.
Under the previous NDP government, the province had pledged $13.5 million towards the games, which Calgary won the exclusive rights to host for three years from 2020 to 2022.
It was slated to the the first Canadian city to host the event.
I don’t care what your politics are, this is absolutely brutal.— Danny Austin (@DannyAustin_9) October 27, 2019
Not surprising, but what a complete and total load of crap. https://t.co/8YKaex6liN
But the current government, formed by the United Conservative Party (UCP), cut the funds for the 2020 event as part of a dramatic scaleback of the provincial trade and tourism ministry, which last week saw its budget drop from $349 million in 2018-19 to $286 million in 2019-20.
"While we support putting Calgary on the map as an international sport and tourist destination, our current fiscal situation does not allow for the funding of X Games," a spokesperson for the ministry told the Calgary Herald.
Who needs tourism to bring in multiples of the tax revenue invested, when you can pay oil companies to fire more people? 🙄#cdnpoli #abpoli https://t.co/t0vGJFtwjX— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) October 27, 2019
City officials, including Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Councillor Ward Sutherland, said they still believe Calgary will be able to host the games starting in 2021.
Tourism Calgary estimated that the event would generate $75 million in economic activity each year, and attract 75,000 annual attendees.
AB pulls funding, kills 2020 X games, meaning loss of jobs & millions $$ from no tourists, venues, world media exposure, and spin off business. https://t.co/2xC6Ut7Psl— Bruce 🇨🇦 (@Brucesask) October 28, 2019
The UCP government, which was sworn in late April, has prioritized balancing Alberta's budget, which is forecasted to have an $8.7 billion deficit in the current fiscal year. The government's current projects put the provincial books on the path to surplus by 2022–23.
The X Games, meanwhile, said the organization will provide updates in the future, but hope the plans to host the event in Calgary are realized.
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